National Defense

March 25, 2020David Bay

THE Green Desert branch of the Danzig male line is all about speed and its many modern day representatives through his sons such as Invincible Spirit and Oasis Dream are continuing this tradition. His grandson, champion two year-old National Defense (GB), begins southern duty in Victoria this season at Sun Stud.

SUN Stud’s Gr.1-winning juvenile National Defense (GB) should attract plenty of broodmares in his first southern book as he is a son
of Invincible Spirit (IRE) and his fee has been set at just $11,000. That’s pretty good value when you consider Invincible Spirit’s all-conquering son I Am Invincible is covering at $247,500 at Yarraman Park.

And it’s not as if Invincible Spirit is a “one hit wonder” with his sire sons, the likes of Kingman, Lawman, Zebedee (GB), who shuttles to SA and the NZ shuttler and leading freshman sire of 2018-19 Charm Spirit (IRE), all siring stakes winners.

A look at the first crop sires in Great Britain so far in 2019 (mid-August) shows Woodside Park shuttler Cable Bay (IRE) (Invincible Spirit; $13,200 from 2017) leading, Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible) in eighth spot followed by Ivawood (Zebedee) on ninth.

The overwhelming success of the Australian bred I Am Invincible (ex Cannarelle by Canny Lad), a Gr.3 winner and Gr.1 runner-up who retired to stud in 2010 and has been runner-up on the sires’ list for the past two seasons after starting on a fee of $11,000, has prompted several Australian studs to shuttle sons of Invincible Spirit (Green Desert-Rafha by Kris), who also shuttled between 2003-2006, initially at $13,200 and the following three seasons at $11,000 (261 live foals). These also include dual Gr.1 winner Shalaa (IRE), on $33,000 at Arrowfield, Gr.1 winner Territories (IRE), $16,500 at Darley NSW, who both began shuttling in 2017 and Gr.2 winner Ajaya (Hennessy) who shuttled to Chatswood ($13,200 in 2017).

The Green Desert (Danzig-Foreign Courier by Sir Ivor) branch of the Danzig sire line is the dominant sprint line in Europe and little wonder as Green Desert could really motor, winning the July Cup-Gr.1, Sprint Cup-Gr.2, Flying Childers-Gr.2 and July Stakes-Gr.3 before a successful stud career leaving the likes of Oasis Dream (ex Hope by Dancing Brave), a champion at two in England where his wins included the Middle Park Stakes-Gr.1, July Cup-Gr.1 and Nunthorpe Stakes-Gr.1. Oasis Dream is sire of Showcasing (GB) who shuttled to NZ and broodmare sire of Gr.1 winner Sioux Nation (USA) (Scat Daddy), shuttling for the first time in 2019 to Swettenham Stud. Several Green Desert sons made an impact in the south including Cape Cross (IRE), Volksraad and Desert Sun (GB).


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Show/Hide Sibling Identifiers

Five x Five Enhanced Pedigree Grid for

by Invincible Spirit - Angel Falls, by Kingmambo


B. 1997
GW 7 wins
f:1937 r:1708 w:1177 SW:136
Green Desert
B. 1983
GW 5 wins
f:1125 r:962 w:644 SW:89
B. 1977
Wnr 3 wins
f:1075 r:837 w:658 SW:198
Northern DancerNearctic14
Pas de NomAdmiral's Voyage4
Foreign Courier
B. 1979
f:15 r:14 w:9 SW:2
Sir IvorSir Gaylord2
Courtly DeeNever Bend19
B. 1987
GW 5 wins
f:15 r:14 w:11 SW:4
Ch. 1976
GW 14 wins
f:821 r:652 w:447 SW:75
Sharpen UpAtan2
Doubly SureReliance16
Soft Angels2
B. 1981
Wnr 1 win
f:15 r:13 w:10 SW:2
ArtaiusRound Table2
Stylish Pattern14
Border BountyBounteous14
B Flat7
B. 2006
f:6 r:6 w:5 SW:1
B. 1990
GW 5 wins
f:897 r:738 w:483 SW:85
Mr. Prospector
B. 1970
SW 7 wins
f:1178 r:980 w:739 SW:182
Raise a NativeNative Dancer5
Raise You8
Gold DiggerNashua3
B. 1984
GW 12 wins
f:14 r:10 w:6 SW:5
NureyevNorthern Dancer2
PasadobleProve Out4
Santa Quilla20
Anna Palariva
Ch. 1995
GW 2 wins
f:14 r:11 w:10 SW:3
B. 1980
GW 4 wins
f:980 r:795 w:514 SW:118
NijinskyNorthern Dancer2
Flaming Page8
ForeseerRound Table2
Regal Gleam1
Anna of Saxony
Ch. 1989
GW 4 wins
f:10 r:8 w:6 SW:1
Rose Bertin3
Anna MatrushkaMill Reef22
Anna Paola7

Northern Dancer (CAN) 1961 : 4m x 5m 5m
Round Table (USA) 1954 : 5m x 5f

National Defense (ex Angel Falls by Kingmambo), stands at the Irish National Stud (€8,000), retiring in 2018 to join his sire who commands a fee of €120,000 and whose current stars include 2019 English 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 winner Magna Grecia (dam by Galileo), also a Gr.1 winner at two for team Coolmore. National Defense’s first foals arrived earlier this year, the first a filly born on January 23 from the Teofilo (IRE) mare Mare Gaita, being described by Irish National Stud staff as “smart, attractive and nicely made”.

“National Defense is Invincible Spirit’s highest rated two year-old, we are delighted to see his first foals being born,” Irish National Stud CEO Cathal Beale said. “Hopefully he can follow in the footsteps of Kingman, Charm Spirit and I Am Invincible.

He’s been given a great chance by Sun Kingdom who raced the colt and supported him with a fantastic first book of mares which included 50% black type producers/performers”

National Defense was bred by Ecurie des Monceaux and Meridian International and was purchased at Arqana yearling sales for €280,000
by Sun International chairman Cheng Ting Kong, already a successful racehorse owner in Asia. Sun Kingdom has become a major force in the breeding industry internationally since purchasing the former Eliza Park, Victoria property in 2013 and National Defense was the first buy among several yearlings purchased in Europe.

The success of National Defense in particular must have given Cheng Ting Kong great satisfaction as he was his first purchase bought to race in France and now he is now a high-profile dual hemisphere sire. The colt was sent to now-retired Criquette Head-Maarek, and proved a wonderful highlight late in her distinguished training career. The grandson of Green Desert (Danzig) quickly set about proving his worth by winning two of his three starts as a juvenile, including a six-length debut victory, leading all the way, and placing in the other. His major victory came in a 4.5 length romp in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Gr.1 (1600m) at Chantilly on Arc day in early October 2016, an effort Timeform called “a dominant front-running display”.

“He’s a very good horse, not difficult to train and has a lot of energy,” trainer Head-Maarek said after the two year-old’s Gr.1 win. He became the 15th Gr.1 winner for his sire and was rated Champion 2YO in France in 2016, earning a Timeform of 118p (only four juveniles rated above him in Timeform’s Top 100 for that age). Runner-up in the Prix Djebel-Gr.3 at Maisons-Laffitte from only two runs at three, National Defense, who stands 16 hands, was retired after suffering an injury in the French 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 at his next start.

Race Record

(in France)

At 2 : Chantilly Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, Gr.1 (1600m beating Salouen and Whitecliffsofdover)
Deauville Prix Beachcomber Le Victoria (1600m)
3d Chantilly Prix des Chenes, Gr.3 (1600m to Akihiro and High Alpha)
At 3 : 2d Maisons-Laffitte Prix Djebel, Gr.3 (1400m to Al Wukair and beating African Ride)

Champion 2YO Colt in France in 2016.

His career record to mid-September shows 1391 winners from 1991 starters (69.9%) of 4529 races and more than $178m. His 162 stakes winners represent a high 8.1% of runners. His best in Australia include champion filly Guelph (Elusive Quality (USA), a fourtime Gr.1 winner whose second dam is by Danehill, triple Gr.1 winner Flamberge (Blazing Sword), triple Gr.1 winner and sire Helmet (Singspiel), Blue Diamond-Gr.1 winner and sire Reward for Effort (Rory’s Jester), Blue Diamond winner Earthquake (Marauding), Golden Slipper winner Overreach (Snippets) and ATC Sires’ Produce winner Microphone (Anabaa (USA)). His Gr.2 winner and Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep (Quest for Fame (GB)) was Champion First Crop Sire in Australia in 2018-19 after his daughter Kiamichi (Canny Lad) won the 2019 Golden Slipper.

Other stars include outstanding European miler Excelebration (GB) (Indian Ridge), a triple Gr.1 winner and sire, dual Hong Kong Sprint-Gr.1 winner Mr Stunning (Dayjur), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-Gr.1 winner Outstrip (El Prado), York Nunthorpe Stakes- Gr.1 winner Margot Did (Shareef Dancer) and Meydan Al Quoz Sprint-Gr.1 winner Amber Sky (Rubiton). He has left further Group winners out of daughters of Lecture, Halling, Dehere (USA), Kris, More Than Ready (USA), Gone West, Jeune Homme, Daylami, Zabeel (NZ), Distant Relative, Fairy King (USA), Rudimentary, Elusive Quality (USA), Hurricane Sky, Sadler’s Wells, Rahy, Canny Lad, Wolfhound (USA), Bellotto, Piccolo (GB), In the Wings, Real Quiet (USA), Bluebird (USA) and Galileo (IRE).

He’s worked well with a variety of sire lines but has enjoyed good success with Mr. Prospector including via Gone West and his son Elusive Quality (USA), with the Sadler’s Wells line, with further returns of Danzig and with the Biscay branch of the Star Kingdom line, particularly Canny Lad, whose dam is by Lunchtime (GB), sire of Snippets. He’s nicked with Ahonoora and Sharpen Up who have worked so well with Danehill, and our domestic lines of Rory’s Jester and Sir Tristram (especially his son Marauding, whose dam is by Biscay). All this is good news for Performer and makes it likely he will suit a wide variety of mares.

Exceed and Excel’s daughters also offer some good clues to mating choices for Performer, including his Gr.3-winning daughter Believe ‘n’ Succeed (ex Arctic Drift (USA) by Gone West), dam of the Gr.1 winner Bounding (Lonhro), who was in the news in early September when her yearling colt by Mr. Prospector grandson Curlin made $US4.1m at Keeneland. Believe ‘n’ Succeed also left the 2019 English Derby-Gr.1 hero Anthony van Dyck to a mating with Galileo (Sadler’s Wells-Urban Sea by Miswaki). The Gr.2 winner Kuroshio, a brother to Believe ‘n’ Succeed now at stud in Ireland, stood in Australia from 2014-18.

Another of Exceed and Excel’s daughters, Seeking Solace (GB), a 4mx5m RF to My Charmer, is the dam of Middle Park Stakes-Gr.1 and July Cup-Gr.1 winner Ten Sovereigns. His sire No Nay Never is by Scat Daddy (by Feola descendant Johannesburg) from a mare by Elusive Quality (Gone West). Closer to home champion mare Alizee is by Sepoy (a son of Elusive Quality and a Danehill mare related to Canny Lad), while her dam Essaouira is by Exceed and Excel from a daughter of Rory’s Jester. Alizee has Danehill 3fx3m and Marscay 4fx5f. Sepoy mares could be worth seeking out to send to Performer, while daughters of Aquis sire Domesday (Red Ransom (USA)-In the Past by Zafonic) look ready made too as his dam combines Gone West, Storm Bird and Sir Ivor in her pedigree.

Performer’s dam Gavroche won at 1000m and is by champion sprinter Snippets (Lunchtime (GB)- Easy Date by Grand Chaudiere (CAN)) whose daughters have produced 90SW (14 Gr.1) including the ATC Galaxy-Gr.1 winner Bel Sprinter (Bel Esprit), a half-brother to Performer and among four winners from Gavroche. The Gr.1 winner Bel Esprit (Royal Academy (USA)-Bespoken by Vain) is best known as the sire of unbeaten champion sprinter Black Caviar, whose second dam is also by Snippets and these two Gr.1 winners add weight to the assumption that Bel Esprit’s daughters will be suitable mates for Performer.

It’s a family of the highest class and one noted for producing sires. Performer, who will be given every chance to succeed by Aquis, looks likely to add another very successful chapter to its history.

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Breeders by now are well aware of the deeds of his sire Invincible Spirit (IRE) (Green Desert-Rafha by Kris), a champion sprinter whose victories included the Haydock Sprint Cup-Gr.1, a race also won by Danehill (USA). Now a leading sire of juveniles and well established as one to the best sires in Europe with progeny earnings approaching $110m, Invincible Spirit has 124SW among his 1066 winners (69.3%) and he now has 18 Gr.1 winners.

His best include the $2.3m earner and six-time Gr.1 winner Moonlight Cloud (Spectrum), outstanding milers Kingman (Zamindar) and Charm Spirit (Montjeu), champion juveniles Shalaa (War Chant, inbred to brothers Kris and Diesis, by Sharpen Up) and Hooray (Machiavellian), French Derby-Gr.1 hero Lawman (Gulch), champion sprinters Signs of Blessing (Seeking the Gold) and Fleeting Spirit (Distant Relative), King’s Stand-Gr.1 winner Profitable (Indian Ridge), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-Gr.1 winner Vale of York (Halling, another inbred 3×3 to Kris and Diesis), dual Gr.1 winner Territories (Machiavellian) and Eqtidaar (Acclamation) winner of the Commonwealth Cup (6f) for three year-old sprinters at Royal Ascot meeting last year. His best Australian-sired runners included the tough triple Gr.1 winner Yosei (Fuji Kiseki) whose second dam is by the Blushing Groom horse Rainbow Quest, a line that seems to mix well with Invincible Spirit and Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 runner-up Spirit Song, whose first two dams are by Kingston Rule (Secretariat) and Military Plume (Sir Tristram) and of course Gr.1 second I Am Invincible.

Sadler’s Wells and his three-quarter brother Nureyev also feature in several good winners, the July Cup-Gr.1 winner Mayson being out of a mare by Pivotal (Nureyev), Charm Spirit being of out a mare by Montjeu (Sadler’s Wells) and Magna Grecia being out of a mare by Galileo (Sadler’s Wells, who also brings in a line of Mr. Prospector through his dam sire Miswaki. Nijinsky and his three-quarter-brother The Minstrel also feature in these Gr.1 pedigrees.

Inbreeding to Green Desert (Danzig-Foreign Courier by Sir Ivor) and to other sons of Danzig, including Danehill, is also proving a winning option with the Green Desert male line, while Invincible Spirit has worked well by doubling the brothers Kris and Diesis and their sire Sharpen Up. The latter is a grandson of Native Dancer, sire of Natalma (dam of Northern Dancer and third dam of Danehill and Machiavellian) and grandsire of Mr. Prospector. Mares from the Halo line, his dam is a half-sister to Natalma, have also worked well, Yosei a case in point, plus Machiavellian’s dam is by Halo.

Harder to find, Ahonoora is another who works well with the line.

It’s worth pointing out that National Defense’s dam sire Kingmambo is bred on the Mr. Prospector/ Nureyev cross and the second dam of National Defense is by a son of Nijinsky. The Gr.2 winner Muthmir also provides food for thought for Australian broodmare owners as his first two dams are by Danehill and Night Shift, the latter a brother to Fanfreluche, who figures so prominently in the pedigrees of Danehill son Flying Spur (daughters of his son Magnus look ideal for National Defense) and Encosta de Lago (by Fairy King, a brother to Sadler’s Wells; mares with his son Northern Meteor suit too).

National Defense is one of several top class performers by his sire who are from mares from the Mr. Prospector male line and in this case his unraced dam Angel Falls is by one of the very best Mr. Prospector sons to race in Europe in the shape of Kingmambo, winner of the St James’ Palace Stakes-Gr.1 at Royal Ascot as well as the Prix du Moulin-Gr.1 and the French 2000 Guineas-Gr.1, both at Longchamp.

Kingmambo’s dam, the champion Miesque (Nureyev-Pasadoble by Prove Out) won 10 Gr.1 races among her 12 wins in 16 starts. She has many high class descendants including Arrowfield’s newcomer Real Steel (Deep Impact), whose second dam is a sister to Kingmambo and Miesque’s Son (USA).

A champion sire in France and Japan, Kingmambo’s daughters have produced 19 Gr.1 winners including English Derby heroes Ruler of the World (Galileo) and Camelot (Montjeu), the latter’s second dam by Danehill. The sires of these two classic winners are from the Sadler’s Wells male line, giving inbreeding to the three-quarter brothers Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev, something that could easily be accomplished using National Defense over mares from that same male line.

Danehill is also sire of five-time Gr.1 winner and former shuttler Duke of Marmalade (IRE), whose dam is also by Kingmambo, giving more ammunition to suggest Danehill line mares will suit National Defense. The double of Danzig in such a cross (Green Desert/Danehill) is certainly working to advantage with I Am Invincible (Fiesta, Pure Elation, Eckstein, Invincible Star, Catch Me, Overshare, for example), while doubling Green Desert (though Invincible Spirit and Volksraad) led to Gr.1 winner Hellbent. Desert Sun (GB) (Green Desert) sire of Sunline and dam sire of Black Caviar and her brilliant half-brother All Too Hard, stood in Victoria at the end of his stud career and his descendants, like daughters of All Too Hard, could be worth trying with National Defense.

Angel Falls is also dam of stakes placed winners by Teofilo and Makfi and her dam, the Gr.3 winner Anna Palariva is by the classic-winning Nijinsky son Caerleon. Caerleon’s dam is by Round Table, also sire of Artaius, sire of Invincible Spirit’s second dam Eljazzi, a half-sister to Pitcairn (Petingo), whose son Ela-Mana-Mou is the sire of Anna of Saxony, third dam of National Defense. Round Table appears 5mx5f in the pedigree of National Defense, while half-siblings Eljazzi and Pitcairn are 3×5. Their dam Border Bounty is an RF to Selene’s dam Serenissima (5fx5m) and her daughter Eljazzi is also second dam of dual Gr.1 winner and young Coolmore-based sire Pride of Dubai (Street Cry). Pencil his daughters in for a visit to National Defence when they reach breeding age Anna Palariva’s nine winners include stakes winners by Dubawi, Pivotal and Seeking the Gold and her Sunday Silence daughter Anemometer, who is at stud in Victoria, left black type performers by Dubai Destination (Kingmambo) and Street Cry (Machiavellian).

Anna of Saxony won the Park Hill Stakes-Gr.3 at Doncaster and produced six winners including Anna Amalia (by the Sadler’s Wells son In The Wings), the dam of US Gr.1 winner Ave (Danehill Dancer). Anna Matrushka (Mill Reef-Anna Paola by Prince Ippi), fourth dam of National Defense, produced 11 winners, but it is her unraced daughter Accessories (GB) (by Singspiel, a son of In The Wings) who is so well known here as the dam of Gr.1 winners and sires Helmet (Exceed and Excel) and Epaulette (Commands) and Group winners Pearls (Exceed and Excel) and Bullbars (Elusive Quality). Inbreeding to this family using daughters of Epaulette, Bullbars and Helmet could prove worthwhile.

This is family 7f and Anna Paola, fifth dam of National Defense, was the best of her sex in Germany at two and three, winning the German Oaks-Gr.2. She is a half-sister to Group winner and sire Aspros (Sparkler), whose daughter Diasparina is the third dam of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Their dam, Antwerpen (Waldcanter), has the Italian-bred Adria (Sagacity) as her third dam. She is a half-sister to champion filly Archidamia (Manna), whose wins included the Italian Oaks and Derby. Way back this is also the family of great Australian sire Midstream (GB) (Blandford). n

David Bay

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